Representative Works from Realism

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Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina (1875-1877), by the Russian realist writer Leo Tolstoy, is considered one of the greatest novels of all time. The story concerns the intrigues of three Russian families: the Oblonskys, the Karenins, and the Levins. In the Oblonsky family, the husband, Stiva, is unfaithful to his wife, Dolly. The Oblonskys are the subject of Tolstoy's famous opening line in Anna Karenina: "All happy families resemble each other; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

The Karenin family is disrupted when Anna Karenina (the feminine version of the last name Karenin) leaves her husband and child because of an affair she is having with Aleksey Vronsky, a young military officer. The third element of Anna Karenina concerns the young Konstantin Levin and his courtship of Dolly's sister Kitty. The character of Konstantin embodies one of Tolstoy's major philosophical values: that the best life is...

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This section contains 1,251 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Realism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Realism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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